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Palpatine
10/18/17 09:43 pm
Granted, and thank you, Pari, for pointing that out to me, so that I could write to the author and address the issue personally. I'm most grateful.
Pari
10/07/17 01:42 am
@Palpatine authors are in charge of the banners they add to their stories, so you will need to contact them personally to let them know their banner pic is not showing.
Pari
10/07/17 01:41 am
@kelticmoon, I added some back but they are not updated, meaning things you find on the default skin may not be on the other skins :)
kelticmoon
10/05/17 10:47 pm
Where are the other skins that use to be here?
Palpatine
10/05/17 03:52 pm
Some of the pictures seem to be having real trouble being looked at, they keep on saying "enable third party hosting", a real problem it seems.
Pari
09/25/17 10:11 pm
Hey nmcil we got this strightened via email, thanks for the donation. Thanks to all who donated as we are now paid up through/to Jan 2019!
nmcil
09/21/17 03:08 am
How can we contribute using PayPal?
nmcil
09/21/17 03:05 am
What happen to the PayPal donation. I USE PayPal.
squawks
05/18/17 09:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
pj
03/20/17 06:20 am
10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.

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[A/N: I thought a glimpse into the day (night) of life between books of Origins might please everyone, so this one-shot is a bridge chapter, between the first book and the coming one. And, no, this isn’t just a “throw everyone a bone because I’m not ready to start posting” because funny thing, I am ready. Next installment will be posted on Saturday The title is from Sting’s Fortress Around Your Heart, from the album Dream of the Blue Turtles, and the quotes are as attributed. Disclaimers are still in full force and effect. Enjoy.]

Previously: Angel’s gone and what happens between Spike and Buffy after he does?

Book One, Epilogue. Build a Bridge

And if I’ve built this fortress around your heart
encircled you with trenches and barbed wire
then let me build a bridge
for I cannot fill the chasm
and let me set the battlements on fire
Sting, Fortress Around Your Heart

I didn’t hear you leave
I wonder how am I still here
I don’t want to move a thing
it might change my memory
oh I am what I am
I’ll do what I want but
I can’t hide
I won’t go
I can’t sleep
I can’t breathe
until you’re resting here with me
I won’t leave
I can’t hide
I cannot be
until you’re resting here with me.
Dido, Here with me, from the album I’m no Angel




The house was dark when he got home. No lights on and the girls were all tucked away in their beds. Funny how his unlife had undergone yet another change. A year ago, if someone had told him he’d be living in this house instead of standing outside, he’d’ve laughed.

But here he was, possessor of house keys and locking the door to Joyce’s house at night. Spike smiled, listening to the different heartbeats surrounding him. Emptying his pockets into the house jar, Spike reached into the refrigerator for a beer.

Unlife was good.

Stepping back outside for a fag, he stared up at the stars, thinking about this last couple of weeks. Three weeks ago his world had been grey, muted, with brief fleeting moments of . . . not happiness but something akin to contentment. He’d found a place where he was needed and mostly wanted. But his nights had lacked vibrancy – there’d been no . . . joy, no happiness. . . no colour.

And then Red had done the impossible.

She’d reached out, tweaked the hand of the gods, the powers that be, the universe, whatever you cared to name them, but she’d grabbed the Slayer out of their hands, snatched her away from her reward – stolen her from heaven and brought her back to the mouth of hell. Willow had, in one fell swoop, turned his world on its ear.

He couldn’t imagine what it might’ve been like if he hadn’t found Buffy those first minutes. Christ. As it was, she was still recovering from her climb which was just complicated by the knowledge of where she’d been.

Spike sipped his beer, thinking about the consequences of Willow’s hubris. Buffy was back, yeah, and as far as he was concerned it was a mixed blessing. He still wasn’t sure his girl wanted to be back, or even knew how to cope with all of it. Day to day living was still hard on her, he could see it in her eyes. The strain of just getting through the day without letting the memories overwhelm her, coupled with the grief of losing her mother, which for her was still fresh, didn’t make anything easier on her. He and Tara were doing all they could to keep money worries from her, but they were a problem. They were skating by, but there was nothing extra if something went wrong. Thankfully, medical expenses, which in this household could be problematic, weren’t really a problem. But all that was mundane stuff, things that Buffy wasn’t even ready to deal with yet. He was more concerned with her emotional state.

Since her return his life had changed again. She’d clung to him, wanted him around – still wanted him and miracle of miracles, she’d allowed him. . . . hell, they were a couple and his girl had called him boyfriend. Spike snorted at the label. So very American, so very Buffy to try putting that name to their relationship.

What he felt for her was deeper, stronger and more intense than what he’d ever felt before. It went so far beyond girlfriend that he couldn’t begin to put a name to it.

She gave his world colour.

She was sunshine . . . rain . . she was everything. His world within green-gold depths and dangerously deadly hands . . . She was . . .

Helen to his Paris, because she was more beautiful to him than any words he could compose;

Cleopatra to his Antony, because with her he could rule their world;

Heloise to his Abelard, because she made him defy everything he was, becoming instead everything she needed, remaking himself to please her;

Beatrice to his Dante, Eurydice to his Orpheus, for her he would defy heaven and hell and everything in between.

Spike grinned at his own feeble attempt to compose epic poetic lines. God he could be such a romantic git. He’d been an absolute poncey wanker, spouting bad poetry and making poor pathetic attempts daily. Ah well, worse things than bein’ love’s bitch.

Mentally stepping away from further comparison to literary and historical great lovers, Spike lit a second cigarette. Blowing out the smoke, he thought back, going over the last three days.

Willow’d gotten called on the carpet by both Tara and Buffy, but mostly Tara. Glinda hadn’t hesitated either, telling her girl what was what.

What worried him about the whole situation there was a couple of things – Willow’s lack of remorse about any of it, her arrogance about having been able to perform a ritual designed for multiple witches, her willingness to put both Dawn and Tara in harm’s way – but what really truly worried him was the way she’d left the house.

Dawn had told him that she’d done nothing but cry while she was packing up her things.

Cried.

Maybe he was just . . . over compensating or borrowing trouble – but that wasn’t how he’d expected her to react. He’d been prepared for something more, some show of power, some flexing of witchy muscle to get them to rethink asking her to leave.

Instead she’d gone meekly for the door.

He could be just borrowing trouble, but somehow Spike didn’t think he was. His intuition, his gut instincts were telling him Willow was just regrouping, just gathering steam for what was brewing in the back of her mind.

And he’d no doubt that she’d somehow blame all this on him. Lay all her miseries at his door and come gunning for him. No doubt with help from Harris. Demon girl would probably stay out of it, at least he hoped so, but there was no doubt in his mind that the whelp and Red would be difficult in the coming days or weeks.

Well, he was ready for it. Part of him was wishing for it. Itching for a good showdown.

Not that their little face to face with the great souled one hadn’t been a bit of satisfying. Spike was harboring no illusions at all about that being anywhere near resolution.

No, that was just a brief lull in the action.

A chance for the broody one to regroup, to rethink his arguments.

Oh no, Angelus was a thorough bastard. He’d be back. That much Spike was certain of; the thickheaded mick couldn’t let it go, couldn’t and wouldn’t.

Because Angelus considered Buffy his.

Spike snorted, his nostrils flaring as his jaw flexed.

Slayer wasn’t a possession. Somethin’ to take out and play with when the mood struck him. No, she was her own person, not some cute little doll.

Not that Angel saw that. Wanker was too thickheaded to see Buffy had ceased being his the moment he’d walked away – without a soul. Angel had left her long before he’d moved to Los Angeles, long before Spike had left the first time. Angelus was one sick fucker, unable to love the girl without a soul, unable to see or sense anything that wasn’t according to his world view.

Asshole.

Angelus or Angel. Shouldn’t matter. Soul or not he still should’ve been able to love Buffy.

Hell, he didn’t have a soul and he knew he loved her. Knew it didn’t matter, wouldn’t change anything whether he had a soul or not. His feelings didn’t change on the flip of a coin or the loss of something or the gaining of something else.

Spike was fairly certain that had he been in Angelus’ shoes, he wouldn’t have left Buffy. Wouldn’t have gone on a rampage. He had a bit more restraint than that. Helped that he wasn’t an unthinking idiot either. Or an unfeeling git.

But he knew Angelus. So expecting trouble from that corner wasn’t some nebulous itching. That, unfortunately, was real.

Gonna have t’watch for him. Maybe Oxford . . . Spike’s thoughts were interrupted when a noise sounded from inside the house.

Getting to his feet, Spike was inside and flying up the stairs before the whimpers from his bedroom became outright sobs.


✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵✵

No air. She was back in the box, back in that place. . .

Couldn’t breathe. . . too close.

Everything was too close.

Didn’t want to be here. Lost . . . alone . . . no safety . . . No safety without him. . where is he?

No. . . not this place. The box was gone and instead she was standing on top of a rickety tower, nothing but air between her and the ground. . .

Want to . . . need to go back. Need to find home. . . Mommy’s gone . . .

Wrong.

No air. Nothing. No escape.

Can’t breathe. Fear was everywhere. . . she heard the snick of steel sliding against itself, blades whirred and . . . oh gods, he was here. . . Angel. . . no. . not Angel . . the other. . . bad Angel

Need . . . help. Where is . . . he. . .
images of sparkling blue eyes. . Home. Safety.

Love.

Need him. . . Can’t breathe . . . oh god. . . help me. . . please. . . find me. Need you. Need . . . you . . . . Spike.


Muffled whimpers grew louder, becoming more coherent than just garbled sounds in a desert-dry throat.

Need you Spike . . . can’t breathe . . . need you . . . here. . . please find me.

Cool hands reached out, deep voice soothing, calling her back, strong arms keeping her safe.

His name broke from her lips, tears seeping from behind closed eyes afraid this was all a dream.

“Shhhh love. Spike’s right here. I’ve got you.” She curled into his embrace, seeking to get impossibly closer.

“Need you. Weren’t here. Missed you.” Reduced to a five year old by her fears, the girl in his arms clung to him tightly. “Spike. . . promise.”

“Oh kitten. Hush. Gonna be here ‘til I’m . . . never gonna leave you.”

Buffy curled further into his embrace, practically laying on his chest, her nose against his neck, one arm tight around him. Inhaling deeply, Buffy contented herself with his current nearness. Her fingers messed with the curls at the back of his neck, her leg automatically curling over his waist.

His hands were running over her back holding her close and when her leg swung over his hips, Spike dropped one down to hold her wriggling butt still. “‘s all right princess. I’ve got you.”

When her tears had calmed somewhat, Spike leaned back a bit to look at her. Her face was tear-streaked and still tense, the strain showing around her eyes and lips. “Tell me love.”

With that gently voiced command, Buffy opened her eyes to look at him.

So much concern for her. So much caring. . . so much love. So not deserving girl. He loves me. I can see it. Sometimes feel it. Is this it? Is Spike the one guy for the one girl? Buffy traced a warm finger across his jaw and over his lips. He nipped her finger, kissing the tip when he was done.

“Bad dreams again. Stuck there. . . can’t always get out, get back home.” Ducking her head against his chin, she went further, “wanted to find you and couldn’t. Knew finding you is finding home.”

Her hand rested above his unbeating heart, her fingers rubbing over the soft cotton, smoothing over the black leather encasing his shoulders. He didn’t speak, couldn’t find his voice. Buffy whispered against his skin, her breath warming him, “can’t sleep when you aren’t here. Don’t feel safe without you.”

Oh god.

This woman could reduce him to blubbering git in ways no one had ever been able to. If she wanted him to beg he would, what ever she wanted, how ever she wanted it. . . there wasn’t one thing he wouldn’t do for her.

“Love.”

“Spike . . . please. . . I’m not good with words” her forehead rested against his chin, her body as close to his without him being inside her and suddenly that wasn’t enough for him.

“Buffy . . . “

Her name was enough. She could feel the need coming off him in waves answered by her own need.

“Buffy . . “

Dipping his head down, his lips captured hers in a searing kiss. His hands cupped her bare ass, his fingers running restlessly over her soft skin, dipping in to brush the spot in between. She gripped his face, held on for dear life, assuring herself he was really there, really home and he wasn’t leaving.

Tears slipped from under her closed eyes falling gently on his. Breaking off the kiss, Spike pulled back, looking at her, “kitten, what’s wrong?”

“Don’t leave me alone, please Spike? Promise me you won’t leave.”

Her voice broke on the last word, a soft sob catching in her throat. Tucking her close, Spike rolled her onto her back, his steely arms encircling her in safety and love. “Sweetheart. Look at me.”

Tears seeped out from behind her closed eyes and Buffy was afraid to open them. His voice soothed her, giving her courage to trust his tone.

“Buffy love, look at me.” His thumb caressed her cheek, coaxing her, along with the whiskey promise in his voice. “Sunshine . . . c’mon . . . look at me.”

Her eyes peeked up at him, widening in the dim light. His face was inches from hers their noses practically touching.

“There she is.” Spike smiled down at her, his eyes serious. “Kitten. . . I love you. Not going anywhere. . . don’t wan’ t’go . . . to be any where else.”

His hand brushed back her hair, his eyes searching hers. “Can’t leave you kitten. Buffy . . . don’t want. . . promise you, I’m not leavin’. Never goin’ any where you aren’t.” His mouth over-rode his brain and before he could censor his words, he said, “‘m not the leavin’ type. Didn’t leave Dru an’ ‘m not leavin’ you.”

He realized what he’d said the minute the words left his mouth and Spike braced himself for the backlash that mentioning his sire’s name would cause. What he got wasn’t nearly what he’d expected. Buffy curled her arms underneath his, her hands resting on his shoulders, between cotton and leather. Her forehead rested against his lips, her smile hidden from his view.

“Spike” she drew a shaky breath, trying to compose her words. His assurance about Drusilla only eased her fears. But he was worried about it she could feel it. “Spike, I just. . yeah.”

He didn’t quite understand what she was trying to say and he asked her “Buffy?”

“How long were you with Dru? A hundred years?”

His answer came reluctantly, “‘bout that.”

“Sounds like a good number.”

Lifting his head away from her, Spike looked down. There was nothing he could say. Nothing. His brain wasn’t even completely sure he was awake and not dreaming. Her eyes were bright, sparkling in the moonlight streaming in through the window.

Peppering her face with light kisses, Spike couldn’t fight his need for her. Her hands wormed their way beneath his shirt and an inarticulate whine sounded from her, signaling her desire.

Disengaging from her, Spike stood up, the coat falling from his shoulders. Lifting up his tee shirt, Spike was surprised when her warm hands skimmed up his back. Her kisses trailed up his spine, freezing him in place. Her touch setting off tremors within him and his breathing increased, her breath hot against his cool skin.

Buffy moved away from him, picking up his coat. Before hanging it up, she brought it up to her face, inhaling his scent. Sitting on the bed to remove his boots, Spike was struck by the utter normalcy of their movements. They were functioning like a couple who’d been together for years and not mere days. He’d imagined being with her, but nothing like this. Never dreamed he’d be living with her, sleeping with her night after night. Untying his boots, Spike watched her move about their room, straightening things that were fine, just marking time waiting for him.

“What?” She turned to face him, his dirty tee shirt in her hands and an adorable blush across her features.

“Nothin’ sunshine.” Shaking his head he went back to taking off his boots.

“Spike?” Her hand came down on his shoulder, then she moved to stand in front of him when his attention shifted to her. “Tell me what you were thinking.”

“Jus’ . . . . never mind.” He shook his head, deciding against telling her what he was thinking.

“C’mon, tell me please?” Knowing he couldn’t resist her, Buffy pouted.

His groan was enough to tell her he was going to give in, “‘s like we’ve been at this for years, yeah? Like we’ve been . . . together longer.” Ducking his head so she couldn’t see the emotions swirling within him, Spike refused to meet her eyes.

Her hand pushed his head back, forcing his face up so she could see him. “It does. Thought it was just me being all needy-Buffy. But its not, is it?”

Both hands were on his shoulders now and Spike couldn’t resist pulling her closer to him.

Head buried between her breasts, Spike smiled. “Not jus’ you. ‘S both of us. Dunno why that is sweets.”

Cupping his face in both hands, Buffy titled his head away from her chest. “Do we have to know? “

“Guess not. ‘S nice. . . right?”

His sly grin caught her attention, his hands reaching out to pull her down onto his lap and just like that, that one look in his eye and the atmosphere between them changed, becoming charged with sexual tension. Spike stared at her face, his hands lifting up another one of his tee shirts from her body. “Not gonna have any shirts if you keep wearin’ ‘em kitten.”

She was completely naked now, straddling his knees, bared, open to his appreciative gaze. “Beautiful.” A hand skimmed down from her shoulder to tease a puckered nipple, his fingers rolling and pulling on it. She arched into his hand, and he spread his legs, left hand smoothing over her thigh. “God kitten . . . you jus’. . . “
His hands swept up her torso, thumbs running up her belly, arching over her breasts, circling round to cup them. Spike leaned in to grasp a distended nipple in his mouth, his hand holding her breast like an offering. Licking a path upwards to the hollow of her throat, Spike nuzzled her neck, his hands molding, shaping, teasing her breasts. Blunt teeth nicked at her, pulling on her skin, sending tremors from her neck to her core.

She whimpered out his name, her hot little hands gripping his shoulders, her own legs, trying to inch closer and closer to him. But he was holding her off, wanting to prolong this as long as possible. The whimpers became long husky whines, his name escaping her in a long exhalation, when his tongue licked a path down toward her breasts again.

Breaking away from her breasts after a long suckle, Spike leaned back to look at her. She sat, perched on his knees, breasts wet from his kisses, her glistening folds semi-hidden from his hungry view. His hands reached out as his legs widened, spreading her open, echoing his earlier movement, Spike ran his hands down her torso, thumbs sweeping down, opening her nether lips wide.

Unconsciously licking his lips, Spike was completely captivated by the sight of her open and wet for him. Pinching her clit with his thumbs, Spike watched while Buffy tried arching her pelvis up, seeking more contact, any contact.

“Wan’ t’ watch you . . . kitten.”

Buffy was aching, needing him . . . empty without him filling her. Hitching whimpers filled her throat, echoing in the room. Sliding his thumb against her, his other hand holding her open to his intense gaze, Spike whispered throatily, “that’s it, kitten, ride me . . . wanna watch you . . .”

Writhing on his thumb, Buffy felt wanton, open, exposed to his eyes, bare . . . . Spike pumped his thumb up into her, watching her closely. Buffy’s lip was between her teeth as she gave herself over to the feeling of utter abandon. . . .

Gripping her hip, Spike held her still, allowing her no other contact than his thumb sliding in and out of her aching pussy. Buffy grabbed his head, pulling him close to her breast, offering him a nipple.

Latching on, Spike spread his knees further, opening Buffy up completely. “Spike. . . please. . .need you inside me . . . please. . . “

His voice was raw with passion, “wan’ . . come. . . jus’ my touch . . . fuck. . . . god, kitten.”

Buffy jerked away from him, arching her back, as a tiny orgasm ripped through her.

“Spike . . . need you . . . oh. . . Please.”

Roughly pulling his thumb from her depths, Spike nipped her just above her curls, grinning when she nearly leaped from his arms. “Spike . . . please. . . “

Getting to his feet, Spike laid her out on the bed, spread open to his gaze. Her lungs were gasping desperately for air, her breasts pointed skyward. Leaning over her, Spike thrust two fingers inside her wet channel, pumping in slowly. “This what you wan’?”

“Ahhhhh . . . Spike. . . more . . . please. . . you need you.” Buffy held up her arms to him, begging him to come closer, clutching at him. “Please. . . “

One handed, Spike undid his zipper, sliding out of his jeans, his cock springing free, angling toward her opening. “Wan’ you. . . Buffy . . . look . . . see what you do to me?”

“Spike . . .” Buffy caught his shoulder in a strong grip, unable to stop her hips from rising to his touch. “Need you . . . want you . . inside me. . . now.”

Wrapping his arms around her, Spike leaned in for a kiss, sliding his length against her. “Do it sweet . . heart . . let me come in. . . . bring me home. . . c’mon . . love.”

Angling her hips, Buffy slid her hand down between them and grabbing his thrusting cock, Buffy pulled him close, her arms and legs wrapping around him, gasping as he slid within her slick depths.

“God . . . Spike . . . this . . . you . . home.”

“Fuck . . . “

Thrusting hard into her, Spike held off his . . . tried . . . “hold . . . c’mon . . . love. . . Buffy . . . . god . . . Love you.”

Buffy’s body convulsed around him, muscles bunching and contracting, bearing down, fingers scrambling, grabbing onto him, holding on. “My . . . Spike. . . you. . . ooohhhh.”

Riding the wave of her orgasm, Spike thrust deeply, then spent himself inside her.




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